Pool Party


If you are lucky enough to have a pool, then why not have a pool party for a summer birthday. Whether it is a splash for the toddlers and their parents, or an action packed afternoon party for older children, the time will fly. You may want to choose a theme for your pool party eg. mermaid, under the sea, beach or Octonauts, however for older children it is best to keep the decorations and food simple and let them enjoy the water fun.  Also don’t forget, when near water – SAFETY FIRST and don’t be afraid to set clear rules. Make sure everyone knows where they can and cannot dive/jump, no running, always stay safe and always have an adult on the pool deck(no matter what age the guests are) as children can get knocked, slip or panic when there are lots of them in the pool.

Pool Party - Main Image

The Cake

Pool Party - Cake Image

  • Rectangular cake with middle cut out and jelly set in – looks great and add a few figurines for a splash
  • Rectangular and round cakes with edging and blue icing and some little people swimming around on top
  • Cute cupcakes with cocktail umbrellas and tiny teddies lying under them
  • Cupcakes decorated as fish
  • Round cakes decorated as a beach ball or lifesaving ring
  • A colourful trifle with fish lollies swimming in the jelly layer, you could also make some individual trifle cups with fish
  • Make a cake in the shape of the birthday number and decorate with lollies
  • An ice-cream cake on a hot day is also an easy alternative

The Food

Pool Party - Food Image

  • With all the splashing, diving and swimming this crowd will get hungry!
  • Put the finger food in small bowls that you top up often - nothing like a dripping hand to ruin a whole bowl of chips!
  • Or set aside times to eat away from the pool – this gives everyone a chance to take a breather.
  • Iceblocks and watermelon are classic summer pool party food and you can cut the watermelon into shapes using cookie cutters, to make it look more interesting for the little guests.
  • A sausage sizzle or some pizzas are great options for late afternoon parties.
  • Fish and chips or sushi are also a great option.
  • Fruit kebabs using brightly coloured summer fruits.
  • Flavoured slushies or ice cones will be a hit.
  • Shortbread biscuits shaped as teddy bears and decorated with icing swimsuits.
  • Ice-cream cones with a variety of toppings and sprinkles.
  • Or ice-cream spiders with stripy straws.
  • Fruit punch served in jars or pink/coloured lemonade in bottles with funky straws.
  • Donuts decorated as lifesavers rings.
  • Mini hotdogs, sausage rolls and pies with dipping sauces.
  • Vegie sticks with a variety of dips
  • And with all the water around it can be easy to forget that on a hot day children can get dehydrated – keep lots of cool water on hand.

The Games

Pool Party - Games Image

  • Fill the cup relay.  Divide guests into teams, each team stands in line each child holding an empty plastic cup. Fill the first child’s cup full with water.  They have to pour the cup of water back over their head while the child behind tries to catch the water in their cup. This continues down the line, each trying to catch as much water as possible! The team with the most water left at the end is the winner.
  • Crocodile River – this is played like Red Rover.  The crocodile stands in the middle of the pool and closes their eyes and calls a child over.  The child must try and get past the crocodile, making as little noise as possible. The crocodile must keep their eyes closed and try to tag the child as they go past, if they are tagged the other child becomes the crocodile.
  • Ice cube race – give each child a plastic cup, throw a bucket of ice-cubes into the pool, the children then jump in and try to get as many ice-cubes into their cup before they melt! Lots of screams and the water gets cold, but lots of laughs!
  • Ball pass – use two medium sized bouncing balls. Children stand in a row in the pool, one child passes the ball over and the next child passes it under – passing under is really hard.  When the last child gets the ball they must go to the front of the line and it starts again. The game ends when the first child is back at the beginning of the line.
  • Tug of war – play a traditional tug of war game but in the pool!
  • Singing under water – this is great for older kids.  One child is chosen to be the ‘singer’.  All the children duck under the water while the ‘singer’ tries to sing one line of a well-known song. They come back to the surface and the guessing begins.
  • Boat or duck race – use some plastic boats or ducks. Line up at the shallow end, each player must only use their nose to push their duck or boast to the other end.
  • Wipe out – using a floating pool mat or blow up lilo, the children stand on both side of it and move the mat while another child tries to scramble from one end to the other.  No need for winners, just doing it is fun!!
  • Marco polo – Anyone with a backyard pool would know the cry of ‘marco polo’ over summer. We won’t go into details here – ask your children how it is played, even if you don’t have a pool we are sure they will know! Just a hint though, get them to work out if there is a ‘fish out of water rule’ before they start.
  • Water shooters – arm the crowd with water guns or shooters and stand back!

The Extras

Pool Party - Supplies Image

  • Invitations wrapped around a dive stick – including a reminder to bring it along to the party to use in the games.
  • Shape your invitation like a beach towel, pool, lifesavers ring or sunglasses.
  • Whichever type of invitation you choose include reminders of what to bring togs, sun shirts, goggles, towels, sunscreen.
  • Decorate the pool area to suit your theme, but again think safety first, don’t put anything up that obscures the view of the pool, or may cause children to become tangled.
  • If the guests are younger, decorate by hanging coloured fish or make jelly fish from balloons and streamers.  For older children, a pool party is a great chance for them to have input into their own party decoration. Let them choose a colour or theme and let them help out with getting it ready!
  • The favour can be a fun blow up pool toy or dive sticks, which can be used at the party and then taken home.
  • An embroided beach towel, beach bag or bucket hat will be a hit with the guests.
  • Or fill a paper bag decorated like a beach bag with neon sunscreen, bucket hat , plastic sunglasses and lollies.
  • And for the little guests, an inflatable floating ring to help parents when they are in the pool with them.